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Extended Maternity Leave

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by Thehole, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. Thehole

    Thehole New commenter

    Good morning,

    Is there anybody who has taken extended maternity leave (from 39 weeks to 52 weeks)
    I was under the impression that you were entitled to 52 weeks maternity leave, with 39 weeks of those paid at maternity rate.
    On my maternity policy it states that if I want to extend maternity leave past 39 weeks, I have to write a letter of request to the Headteacher stating how it will benefit myself and the schools circumstances. I feel this is hoop jumping if I should be entitled to this time off. A HR member has confirmed to me that the extended maternity time from 39 weeks up to 52 weeks wouldn’t be paid anyway, so I don’t understand the need to have to request this time off?
    I’m early in to my maternity leave so have plenty of time to plan this, however any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    https://www.gov.uk/maternity-pay-leave - this applies to everyone, not just teachers.

    If you're in the UK, you are entitled to the full year, provided you are an employee and you give them the right notice. All you should need to do is to let them know your return date. It sounds as if their maternity policy is way out of date. You can decide the date on which you wish to return; they have no control over that, provided it is before the 52 weeks are up and you give sufficient notice. I'd be inclined to query whether that clause has been left in since before the maternity leave entitlement was increased to a whole year (in 2003), and say that you presume that it will be enough to confirm the date on which you wish to return.

    If you are early in your maternity leave, note that you are entitled to return on the first day of the summer holidays if you wish. If you're due back at the start of September anyway, it's a no-brainer to have full pay for the whole summer holiday. If you're due back later in September, it's probably still worth doing - it will be easier to return at the start of the year, and six weeks pay for the summer makes quite a difference.

    There is one difference between returning before and after 26 weeks, of which many people are not aware. That is that if you take more than 26 weeks, you are not entitled to return to "your post", but just to one with equivalent pay and status. In practice, that makes little difference for most teachers, as you are generally employed as a "teacher", and can be moved between year groups or given other subjects as the head directs, so you can't really complain if you don't go back into the same year group/timetable. However for those with TLRs, it means you could be given a different TLR on return.
  3. Thehole

    Thehole New commenter

    Thank you so much and some very useful and understandable information in regards to the back to work date. According to their policy, it has been updated recently...I will query the need to have to apply for any extension on my maternity leave though.
    Thanks again

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